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NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Betting Spiked 30% on BetMGM

  • Betting handle on BetMGM was up 30% compared to last year's NCAA women's basketball tournament.
  • The betting action for the first time was nearly "comparable" to the NFL.
Women's NCAA Tournament.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Bettors were highly engaged during this year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament, with BetMGM recording a 30% increase in handle compared to last year’s tournament. 

“For the first time ever, action was comparable to an NFL game,” said John Ewing, PR data analyst at BetMGM.

The wagering uptick came as this year’s tournament set rating records for women’s college basketball, including Iowa’s semifinals win over South Carolina, which scored 5.5 million average viewers on ESPN as the most-watched women’s semifinal ever—surging past the previous 3.76 million record set in 2012.

Caitlin Clark’s Iowa Hawkeyes lost in the finals against LSU, and Angel Reese, as the two superstars, helped catapult women’s basketball into mainstream popularity.

BetMGM’s women’s hoops surge comes after the American Gaming Association recently updated its marketing code to prohibit sportsbooks from partnering with colleges and college athletes starting in July. The University of Colorado was the first school to add a sports betting sponsor in 2020 with PointsBet. Still, the parties ended that partnership last month after facing backlash for promoting gambling to college students. 

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